Criminal Law

Hello. In August of 2009, I was charged with a petty theft…

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Hello. In August of 2009...
Hello. In August of 2009, I was charged with a petty theft charge in orlando, fl. I completed pretrial diversion and the case was dismissed by the state. I have recently acquired my nursing license and am going through a background check with a hospital. On the application, I put "no" for the question: have you... Read full answer
Hello. In August of 2009, I was charged with a petty theft charge in orlando, fl. I completed pretrial diversion and the case was dismissed by the state. I have recently acquired my nursing license and am going through a background check with a hospital. On the application, I put "no" for the question: have you ever been convicted in a court of law, pleaded nolo contendere, been placed on probation, or had adjudication withheld to an offense other than a minor traffic violation? Was this a mistake because the petty theft charge shows on my background check with the status of "Nolle Prosequi". The hospital no longer is offering me employment, but I have 3 days to dispute this. I have gone to the local police department and got a copy of the final disposition, as well as a certified copy from the courthouse. I plan on faxing these papers to them. I was never arrested so I am including that as well. I do not know what my other options are except for the fact that I answered "no" to that question on the application. My question is: should I have put "yes" or was I ok for putting no?
Submitted: 7 years ago.Category: Criminal Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
9/14/2011
Criminal Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 7 years ago
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 103,615
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Verified
Hello,

Welcome to JustAnswer and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. Please remember that there might be a delay between your follow up questions and my answers because I may be helping other clients or taking a break.

Can you please tell me what state this is in?
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
florida
Criminal Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 7 years ago
Thank you. And my apologies, you did say FL originally, but I did not see this.

This is a two step matter.

What's on Your Record?
Many individuals believe that if you complete pre-trial diversion, the record goes away. This is not true. The record consists of two parts - an arrest and a conviction. When you complete pre-trial diversion, your conviction is erased (or rather, the whole case is dismissed). But your arrest record stays on! You have to file a further petition to expunge your arrest. This consists of two steps:

http://www.hillsclerk.com/publicweb/WorkArea/showcontent.aspx?id=4925

http://www.hillsclerk.com/publicweb/WorkArea/showcontent.aspx?id=4195

This is for Hills County, but the law is the same in all of FL - you should call your county to get this packet.

Once you do this, your arrest is then also expunged.

So What Do I Write?
If you only did pretial diversion, that means you can write that you were never convicted of anything, but you have to write that you were arrested if they ask.

If you complete pretrial diversion and expunge, then it is "no" to both conviction and arrest.

Here, the hospital likely found your arrest and even though you were not convicted, they may have not been happy with the arrest part. So they did not withdraw the offer necessarily because you lied on the form (which you did not since the question asked about a conviction), but because they simply found said arrest.

I hope you found my answer helpful, and if so please click on the ACCEPT button. This is the only way for me to get credit for my work; I receive no credit for my time with you until you actually press ACCEPT, even if you already have a subscription. If you still need to clarify something or seek more information, just use the REPLY button and I’d be more than happy to follow up to your satisfaction! There is no fee for follow up questions before or after accepting, should you wish to continue in the thread, and I encourage you to do so should you desire clarification.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
But I was also NEVER arrested. I stated that in my original question. I have a copy of the trespass warning that was given to me and on top, it clearly states I was not arrested for the incident. This is why I am so confused on how to have answered that question on the application.
Criminal Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 7 years ago
Sorry, perhaps I was being too generic. Simply change the word "arrested" to "charged." I was merely using "arrested" since most charges do come with an arrest.

So:

What's on Your Record?
Many individuals believe that if you complete pre-trial diversion, the record goes away. This is not true. The record consists of two parts - a charge and a conviction. When you complete pre-trial diversion, your conviction is erased (or rather, the whole case is dismissed). But your charge record stays on! You have to file a further petition to expunge the charges. This consists of two steps:

http://www.hillsclerk.com/publicweb/WorkArea/showcontent.aspx?id=4925

http://www.hillsclerk.com/publicweb/WorkArea/showcontent.aspx?id=4195

This is for Hills County, but the law is the same in all of FL - you should call your county to get this packet.

Once you do this, your charges will also be expunged.

So What Do I Write?
If you only did pretial diversion, that means you can write that you were never convicted of anything, but you have to write that you were arrested if they ask.

If you complete pretrial diversion and expunge, then it is "no" to both conviction and the charge.

I hope this clears it up. And yes, you were charged in this incident.

I hope you found my answer helpful, and if so please click on the ACCEPT button. This is the only way for me to get credit for my work; I receive no credit for my time with you until you actually press ACCEPT, even if you already have a subscription. If you still need to clarify something or seek more information, just use the REPLY button and I’d be more than happy to follow up to your satisfaction! There is no fee for follow up questions before or after accepting, should you wish to continue in the thread, and I encourage you to do so should you desire clarification.

While the legal system tries to be inclusive of every possibility, sometimes, people are morally wronged but have limited legal avenues to seek relief. If so, please understand that this is not the expert’s fault (in other words, I prefer to tell you the truth rather than tell you what you want to hear, so if the news is not good, please do not shoot the messenger).
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
I do not feel like my question has been answered though. Was I wrong for putting "no" to the question: have you ever been convicted in a court of law, pleaded nolo contendere, been placed on probation, or had adjudication withheld to an offense other than a minor traffic violation? This is the only question on the application in regards to criminal background...
Criminal Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 7 years ago
I do not mean to cause confusion. Allow me to answer simply:

Was I wrong for putting "no" to the question: have you ever been convicted in a court of law, pleaded nolo contendere, been placed on probation, or had adjudication withheld to an offense other than a minor traffic violation? This is the only question on the application in regards to criminal background...

Here, you were wrong in putting "no," because your pre-trial diversion was "adjudication withheld."

Notice the question asks: "have you ever been convicted in a court of law, pleaded nolo contendere, been placed on probation, or had adjudication withheld to an offense other than a minor traffic violation?

So the answer is unfortunately you were wrong in putting "no" at this point.

I hope you found my answer helpful, and if so please click on the ACCEPT button. This is the only way for me to get credit for my work; I receive no credit for my time with you until you actually press ACCEPT, even if you already have a subscription. If you still need to clarify something or seek more information, just use the REPLY button and I’d be more than happy to follow up to your satisfaction! There is no fee for follow up questions before or after accepting, should you wish to continue in the thread, and I encourage you to do so should you desire clarification.
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